Sep 12, 2012

Pinoy Biztalk and Jobs Abroad: ‘How much must I borrow to start a business?

Question: I have been working for a good number of years and have come to realize that most of my retirement will have to be funded by me and not my employer or the government. As a consequence, I am now planning on setting up my own business that I hope will be the source of my retirement income. I know that I should not set up a business upon retirement as doing so may already be too late. I also agree that I should start small but think big. But because I don’t exactly have overflowing cash, I think I would need to borrow money. Up to how much of the needed start-up capital do you think I should borrow? Is it also wise to get a loan against my house and use the proceeds as the initial capital for my business?—Retirement-conscious employee

Pinoy Biztalk and Jobs Abroad: ‘How much must I borrow to start a business?: ‘How much must I borrow to start a business?’ Question:  I have been working for a good number of years and have come to realize that mos...

Sep 4, 2012

7 resolutions for retirees in 2012

January 19, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Retirees may be past the days of resolving to work out more. Yet when it comes to money in particular, resolutions may be even more important for those living on fixed income. From financial nuts and bolts to more holistic aims, here’s a look at seven worthy resolutions for retirees to commit to in 2012:

1. Get disciplined about money matters.

Retirees should set up a formal budget and stick to it. Being thrifty without a plan only goes so far when unexpected expenses arise, especially at an age when health care costs can start to mount.

It’s also wise to record your financial goals and plans, such as how much money you expect to withdraw from savings every month.

“The more detailed the information about your spending requirements and investment goals, the greater your chances of success,” says Bob Stammers, director of investor education for the nonprofit CFA Institute for financial analysts.

2. Attack your debt.

Along with putting on pounds, new retirees are prone to running up debt with their newfound freedom. Paying off credit card debt should be a top priority.

After the card debt is zeroed out, use only one card and pay off the balance monthly. If an emergency expense leads to a balance, don’t let it linger or it will erode retirement savings.

If your savings are languishing in a money market account or certificate of deposit earning practically nothing, you can put a chunk of it to greater use by paying off a credit card with an interest rate of 15 or 20 percent. Having savings yields at rock-bottom lows presents a rare opportunity to instantly improve your finances.

“There may never be a better time than now to clear up all of your credit card debt,” says Michael Kresh, a certified financial planner in Islandia, N.Y.

3. Invest in dividend-paying stocks.

It’s tough for retirees to get meaningful income on their money from the traditional sources. The best-paying money market and savings accounts yield just one percent, five-year CDs no better than 1.95 percent, according to For a bit more risk in the short term, blue chip stocks that pay dividends offer a combination of reliable income and good odds for share price appreciation over the long haul.

Income investors have few alternatives to dividend stocks in this environment, says Howard Silverblatt, senior analyst for Standard & Poor’s.

4. Get your estate plan in order.

Make sure your estate plan and financial documents are updated. Tax laws change and documents may be out of date. Beneficiaries may need to be revised.

Set up a review with an attorney and investment adviser to make sure all of your plans are current. A basic estate plan includes a will, living will, durable power of attorney and health-care proxy or living will.

5. Be more generous.

Resolve to be more charitable, giving to worthy causes for others as well as your loved ones. It’s rewarding and makes tax and financial sense too. Helping a younger family member can also set an admirable precedent that reinforces the importance of charitable giving.

You may want to consider a charitable gift annuity, in which you donate to a large charity and receive regular lifetime payments in return.

6. Check into long-term care insurance possibilities.

Consider getting a long-term care policy. It may already be too expensive if you have health issues or are well into retirement. But note that roughly a fifth of those who sign up for coverage do so at age 65 or older, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

About 70 percent of people over 65 will require long-term care services at some point. And neither private health insurance nor Medicare pay for the majority of the services people need – help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom independently.

7. Stretch your body and mind.

Choose daily pursuits that keep you physically, mentally and socially engaged. There’s abundant evidence that continued physical activity helps people live longer, feel better, avoid depression and keep their mental skills sharp.

“Functional disabilities shouldn’t keep you from exercising,” says Dr. Amy Ehrlich, a geriatrician with Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y,

She puts frail elderly patients on a walking program. If they can’t walk, she puts them on a swimming program. And if they can’t swim, she has them take a water aerobics class.

Studies show that people benefit from efforts to stay cognitively sharp — from doing a daily crossword to playing games to reading. Maintaining social ties also is critical. Older people who volunteer in schools, for example, feel happier, more useful and more satisfied with their lives. –AP (The Philippine Star)

LABOR ADVOCACY GROUP: 12,000 die from ‘work cancers

12,000 die from ‘work cancers

THE country’s health watchdog has been branded “feeble” in failing to prevent nearly 12,000 deaths caused by work related cancers.
A Health and Safety Executive board meeting report last week revealed that cancers were to blame for 8,000 to 12,000 deaths per year due to occupational illness.
But according to an occupational health expert more needs to be done to stop people being exposed to dangerous work environments.
Nearly 14,000 new cases of workplace cancers are registered every year realrted to exposure from toxic chemicals and pollution.
The biggest killer according to the HSE is asbestos which is accountable for 4,000 deaths per year.
There are around 1.8million tradesmen who are at risk of contracting mesothelioma which causes cancers of the lung, larynx and stomach from asbestos exposure.
Almost 800 deaths per year are caused by breathing in silica dust – stonemasons, quarriers and foundry workers are especially a risk from this.
More than 600 deaths in drivers, miners and construction workers are linked to inhaling exhaust emissions from diesel engines.
There is even evidence that suggests that prolonged night-shift work is responsible for 500 people dying from breast cancer every year.
Other occupational hazards that induce cancer are paints, welding, toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning and the radioactive gas radon.

LABOR ADVOCACY GROUP: 12,000 die from ‘work cancers: THE country’s health watchdog has been branded “feeble” in failing to prevent nearly 12,000 deaths caused by work related cancers. A Health...